What we’ve accomplished as Sunrise Spokane in 1 year
Sunrise Eastern Washington (later to be renamed Sunrise Spokane) was founded by Mattie, a highschool student & Maggie, a recent college grad in July 2019, as a local hub of the Sunrise Movement. The past year has been an exciting journey, encouraging youth climate activism in Spokane & building our movement. Our group welcomes anyone under the age of 35 to join & participate; however, the large majority of our hub membership is younger than 25. In the past year we strived to achieve a well-rounded organization to create change by adopting the Four Pillars of Social Justice Infrastructure: policy, consciousness, service, and power. Our goal is to create a livable future for generations to come by stopping climate change & creating green jobs. Our movement has experienced roadblocks: Bernie Sanders, our #1 Green New Deal champion dropping out & Covid-19 halting progress & the ability to meet in-person. What keeps us going is commitment to our principles, our passion for the environment & social justice, and our vision of a brighter future for all people. This year we are going to take our organizing to the next level & scale-up the fight for climate justice in our community & a Green New Deal at the national level. Read about our accomplishments in the past year below.
September Climate Strike
- Our first climate strike was a success! Speakers captivated the audience with powerful stories, poetry, & songs & the Spokane Police Department estimated about 2,500 people were in attendance (enormous for Spokane strike standards)
- Caught the attention of local media Spokane Public Radio; KHQ; KREM
December “Die In”
- Over 50 people participated in the die in demonstrating what is at stake if we don’t take action on climate change. KREM coverage
Earth Day Live
- A coalition of climate activism groups in Spokane, including 350 Spokane and student groups at Gonzaga University, planned Earth Day Live due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The goal of the event was to educate people on the importance of activism and voting in order to create change and stop the climate crisis.
- The first day of the livestream event included a virtual town hall with School Board President Jerrall Haynes and Nikki Lockwood
- Students were able to ask the School Board members questions about their thoughts on climate action, specifically implementing climate curriculum in all K-12 schools in Spokane. The School Board members agreed to work with Sunrise members to create a student led advisory council that would advise the School Board on all climate issues. Since then, two of our members have stayed in contact with the Board, pushing for the creation of this council, and the Student Advisory Council on Climate Change will have its first meeting in October.
Black Lives Matter Banner over the highway near Liberty Lake
- Our members created a Black Lives Matter banner to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
- The banner stayed over the highway for almost an entire day.
POLITICAL & ADVOCACY
- Clean Fuel Standard
- We testified at the Spokane City Council, urging the adoption of the Clean Fuel Standard in order to reduce climate and air pollution by establishing carbon intensity limits for transportation fuels sold in Washington & to create local economic development opportunities by investing in clean, locally produced transportation fuels.
- Canvassing & Phone Banking for Bernie Sanders before the primary election
- Youth Climate Lobby Day, Olympia, WA
- Hub members Joye, Tony, and Hope attended Youth Climate Lobby Day to sit down with our state legislators and demand they take action on 1. Declare a climate emergency 2. Improve our state’s pollution limits to be up to date with the latest science 3. Pass the Transportation for All bill 4. Pass a clean fuel standard
- Covid-19 response phone zapping Senators to support People’s Bailout: putting people over profit
- Working with the Spokane School Board, created the Student Advisory Council on Climate Change
- Created a banner that advocated for the City Council to vote NO on a police contract that would limit citizen oversight over police & attended rall
- Spoke at School Board Meetings to urge the passage of the Racial Equity Resolution and to advocate against Campus Resource Officers in Schools
- Spreading support of the Spokane Community Against Racism’s Racial Justice Platform through our social media
- Supporting & advocating for tenants rights and just cause eviction in Spokane
Sunrise 101 training
- 35 participants between age 12-25 attended our weekend-long training on the fundamentals of organizing, climate science, political history, & justice, equity, and anti-oppression. 2 trainers were brought in from Boise & Tacoma to assist our hub’s two new trainers.
- The training lasted for two days and greatly helped us establish more leadership in the hub and get more young people involved in the movement.
- 3 hub members Chelsea, Iaitia, and Maggie trained as national Sunrise Movement trainers & brought their new skills back to Spokane.
- Online Zoom training to on-board new members in April & September.
- On-going political education in meetings including topics such as, intersectionality, animal agriculture, youth organizing, Black Lives Matter, and the Black Panthers.
- Several members participated in a community conversation hosted by a statewide Environmental Justice task force to discuss local concerns surrounding local environmental justice issues.
- Tree Planting
- Spokane River Cleanup
- Vegan food making & distribution with food not bombs